Westward Passage (1932)

73 mins | Romance | 27 May 1932

Director:

Robert Milton

Writer:

Bradley King

Cinematographer:

Lucian Andriot

Editor:

Charles Craft

Production Designer:

Carroll Clark

Production Company:

RKO Pathé Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

Reviews and the copyright description for this film give different last names for some of the characters. The above-listed character names were deduced from onscreen information. According to the plot synopsis in the copyright descriptions, at the end of the story, "Olivia" returns to "Harry" after nearly eloping with "Nick," and is forgiven by him. The ending of the viewed print was somewhat ambiguous. It was not clear whether "Olivia" makes a decision to re-marry "Nick," or only to remain friends with him. A Feb 1932 HR news item states that actor John Halliday was to replace Richard Dix, the film's original star, in the lead. FD news items add Donald Reed, Herbert Bunston and Arnold Lucy to the cast, but their participation in the final film has not been confirmed. According to modern sources, the film lost $250,000 at the box office, and its failure severely damaged noted English stage actor Laurence Olivier's standing at RKO. Modern sources also note that Ann Harding helped Olivier obtain the best possible lighting and camera angles during ... More Less

Reviews and the copyright description for this film give different last names for some of the characters. The above-listed character names were deduced from onscreen information. According to the plot synopsis in the copyright descriptions, at the end of the story, "Olivia" returns to "Harry" after nearly eloping with "Nick," and is forgiven by him. The ending of the viewed print was somewhat ambiguous. It was not clear whether "Olivia" makes a decision to re-marry "Nick," or only to remain friends with him. A Feb 1932 HR news item states that actor John Halliday was to replace Richard Dix, the film's original star, in the lead. FD news items add Donald Reed, Herbert Bunston and Arnold Lucy to the cast, but their participation in the final film has not been confirmed. According to modern sources, the film lost $250,000 at the box office, and its failure severely damaged noted English stage actor Laurence Olivier's standing at RKO. Modern sources also note that Ann Harding helped Olivier obtain the best possible lighting and camera angles during production. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
8 Mar 32
p. 13.
Film Daily
9 Mar 32
p. 10.
Film Daily
24 Mar 32
p. 29.
Film Daily
5 Jun 32
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Feb 32
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald
11 Jun 32
p. 31.
New York Times
4 Jun 32
p. 9.
Variety
7 Jun 32
p. 21.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Assoc prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
Cost supv
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Westward Passage by Margaret Ayer Barnes (Boston, 1931).
DETAILS
Release Date:
27 May 1932
Copyright Claimant:
RKO Pathé Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
4 June 1932
Copyright Number:
LP3090
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Photophone System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
73
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

After enjoying a romantic honeymoon at a country inn, Olivia and Nick Allen return to their city apartment and begin to quarrel. While Nick, a burgeoning novelist, complains that his publisher wants to turn him into a "hack" writer, Olivia frets over their lack of space and money. When Olivia then announces that she is pregnant, Nick expresses his disappointment and his apprehension about their future. Three years later, Nick, still struggling with his writing, explodes when he discovers that his young daughter Olivia has been playing with his typewriter and, following a tirade against his chaotic home life, threatens to move into a place of his own. Concerned for Olivia's happiness, businessman Harry Ottendorf, a longtime admirer, talks to Nick about changing his ways, but Nick, overcome with jealousy, accuses Olivia of adultery and sues for divorce. Harry and Olivia then marry, and six years later, vacation in Europe with little Olivia. While in Lucerne, Switzerland, Olivia runs into Nick, who is in Europe promoting his new novel. Now a success, Nick immediately displays his interest in Olivia and, in spite of her protests, insists that they dine together after Harry has been called to Chicago on business. Olivia, sensing her own re-kindled attraction to Nick, declares her devotion to the kind Harry but fails to discourage Nick, who then shows up on the same Chicago-bound ocean liner on which she is booked. During the voyage, Nick pursues his ex-wife ardently and re-introduces himself to his confused daughter. By the time the boat reaches Chicago, Olivia's will has weakened and, when Harry fails to show up at the ... +


After enjoying a romantic honeymoon at a country inn, Olivia and Nick Allen return to their city apartment and begin to quarrel. While Nick, a burgeoning novelist, complains that his publisher wants to turn him into a "hack" writer, Olivia frets over their lack of space and money. When Olivia then announces that she is pregnant, Nick expresses his disappointment and his apprehension about their future. Three years later, Nick, still struggling with his writing, explodes when he discovers that his young daughter Olivia has been playing with his typewriter and, following a tirade against his chaotic home life, threatens to move into a place of his own. Concerned for Olivia's happiness, businessman Harry Ottendorf, a longtime admirer, talks to Nick about changing his ways, but Nick, overcome with jealousy, accuses Olivia of adultery and sues for divorce. Harry and Olivia then marry, and six years later, vacation in Europe with little Olivia. While in Lucerne, Switzerland, Olivia runs into Nick, who is in Europe promoting his new novel. Now a success, Nick immediately displays his interest in Olivia and, in spite of her protests, insists that they dine together after Harry has been called to Chicago on business. Olivia, sensing her own re-kindled attraction to Nick, declares her devotion to the kind Harry but fails to discourage Nick, who then shows up on the same Chicago-bound ocean liner on which she is booked. During the voyage, Nick pursues his ex-wife ardently and re-introduces himself to his confused daughter. By the time the boat reaches Chicago, Olivia's will has weakened and, when Harry fails to show up at the dock to meet her, gives in to Nick's invitation to visit his country home. On the way, Nick stops at the same inn where Olivia and he had honeymooned, and there Olivia finally admits that she still loves Nick. After Olivia agrees to leave Harry, the reunited couple prepares to spend the evening at Nick's home but soon find themselves quarreling bitterly over the same trivial matters that had plagued them years before. Unlike before, however, the couple decides to cease fighting and continue their "westward passage" toward love and understanding. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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